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The river of prophecy is filled with rapids, obstacles, eddies, and undercurrents. This often has more to do with the milestones we will see along the way than it does in the details of bringing about something that was foretold. Events tend to collide and conflict in the currents as prophecy moves toward fulfillment. The flotsam and jetsam of experience sometimes seem to move ahead briskly, but at other times, it comes to a stagnant halt. It might, perhaps, even disappear from sight only to reemerge farther downstream. This often makes finding ourselves at any one point in the river in a state of confusion; it is easy to get lost if we look only at the currents, gauging our progress in relation to the bank.

This is why God gave us mile markers along this river to let us know what to watch for next. Thus, if we look back from where we have come, it can be easier to see how to handle the rapids and undertows on the way to the sea. By understanding the flow of prophecy over the last few centuries, we begin to clearly see what Bible prophecy holds for America.

The U.S. is here today in full strength and regarded as a world leader and as such is present in the events that will shape the world during the final days of life on this earth. The keys to America’s future are not buried in some elusive Bible code, but in understanding the will of God, and specifically as He prepares for the final battle that will put evil away for a thousand years.

Many look at prophecy and think that certain things have been ordained. This mind-set gives them a reason to sit back and wait. As in the days of Noah, however, too many continue to eat and drink, marry and give in marriage, and yet disaster—or deliverance—is at the door. What will be on the other side of the door for us will clearly come from our choices. While many may think that the fulfillment of biblical prophecy is a sovereign act of God alone, the Scriptures themselves indicate something quite different. When God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He said to himself, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” (see Genesis 18:17). God felt He should take no action of judgment without giving His friend Abraham the right to intercede on behalf of the inhabitants of both cities.

As Daniel was reading in the book of Jeremiah, he came across a Scripture that reads, “After seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10). Daniel did some quick counting—over 70 years had already passed, and Israel was still in captivity to Babylon. So Daniel began to remind God of His promises. In response, God touched the heart of King Cyrus and then later Artaxerxes, and Nehemiah was given permission to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.